WORKS: Mediterranean Christmas Music from the Renaissance
PERFORMER: Capella de la Torre/Katharina Bäuml
CATALOGUE NO: COV 20811
Shawms, dulcians, recorders, lutes, sackbut, drums, cymbals and castagnettes: Renaissance Spain’s ‘popular’, non-liturgical celebration of Christmas was a distinctly jolly business, if this perky, toe-tapping CD is anything to go by.
The instrumental gaggle combines to euphonious effect, with solo voices, on ‘No la devemos dormir’, designed to keep the Virgin awake on the eve of Christ’s nativity. There is tenderness, too, amid the general buoyancy: ‘Qué bonito Niño chiquito!’ adores the beauty of the new-born saviour. The songs are of mostly anonymous authorship, Guerrero’s motet ‘Ave virgo sanctissima’ being a rare exception.